GT Bank targets Loan growth, Plans to build Seven Branches in 2012
Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank) expects loan growth to top 16 percent in 2012, with return on equity of between 23 and 25 percent, while it starts expansion to French- speaking west Africa next month, the bank’s chief executive said on Wednesday.
The lender grew its loan book last year by 20.6 percent to 715.84 billion naira ($4.5 billion), Segun Agbaje told an investors’ conference call, pushing up profit before tax 35 percent to 65.6 billion naira.
He said the lender had completed its English-speaking west African expansion, with subsidiaries in Gambia, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone and will drive its expansion into Francophone west Africa through a combination of acquisition and organic growth.
“Ivory coast will open next month and it was a green field project. Over the next five to seven years we would look to expand into a number of other African countries,” Agbaje said, adding there were 10 to 12 such countries it was targeting which were growing at 7 percent and had a decent population size.
He said the lender will set up between five and seven new branches in Nigeria this year to add to its existing 177-strong branch network in Africa’s second biggest economy.